New User (West Midlands, UK) - about to move to a new PC

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New Member
Dec 3, 2020
West Midlands, UK
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Hi, I found this site when researching how to move my catalogue to a new PC.
I am a keen amateur photographer and I have been using LR and PS for many years.

My desktop PC is approaching 10 years old and I need to upgrade. Currently I use an AMD Phenom II x4 965 CPU with a Radeon HD 6570 GPU and 8GB of ram .... and 6 internal drives I have collected over the years.
My new PC is on order and expected to arrive just before Xmas. It will have a Ryzen 7 3700x CPU and RTX 2060 GPU and 16 GB of ram - so hopefully last me another 10 years!
When I'm not using my PC for 'working from home' my time is split between Lightroom & Photoshop - 80%/20% so I am a fairly heavy LR user.

The performance of LR and PS has slowed down a LOT in the last 18 months with the last couple of updates. I have tried all of the suggested settings but I think the PC is just a little bit too slow now. And my PC does not support SSE4.2 so I cannot upgrade PS to version 22.

I use a single large catalogue which I know is not good for performance. I tried moving a few hundred images to a new catalogue to work on. Whilst the file management of LR was better, the image editing was still poor. if I move a slider then I have to wait a second to see the effect. A couple of versions back this was not a problem. I have experimented with all performance settings but with no improvement.
So, I am still using a single catalogue (around 135K images). Up until a couple of weeks ago it was split across 5 drives but I bought a new 4TB drive an I have slowly been moving folders to the new drive. I now have everything in one place (3.5TB of images) and I'm ready to move that drive to the new PC when it arrives. I've read all of the instructions on here (thanks :) ) for moving a catalogue so I'm ready. And I have it all backed up onto an external 4TB drive too.

Moving the images around has been an opportunity to see how much rubbish I have but at the moment I don't want to start spending my time doing this on a slow PC. I'll wait until the shiny new one arrives. At that point I think I might begin the task of splitting things up into separate catalogues again.

I hope to be active on this forum - to learn and possibly help if I can.
Hi Phil, welcome to the forum.

A couple of observations:

One of the problems with your current system is likely to be the fact that it only has 8GB of RAM. The 16GB on your new system will be better, though personally with a new system I'd be thinking of at least 32GB, especially if you're hoping to get another 10 years from it!

135k images is NOT overly large by todays standards, and certainly Lightroom Classic should be more than capable of dealing with a catalog that size, so keeping it as one catalog would definitely be a good idea. Having the catalog and previews on an SSD (if they're not already) should also realise some performance benefits, especially in the LIbrary module.
Thanks Jim.
The 16GB was due to being a Black Friday bundled spec. I plan to add 16GB later if needed. It's actually a gaming PC but a good price for an RTX spec.
My current catalogue is on HDD with previews on SSD, all images are on HDD.
On the new PC I will keep the images on a single HDD but move the Catalogue and previews to M.2 SSD
My new PC finally arrived and I have slowly been setting it up.
I have now moved my LR catalogue and all settings across MANY THANKS for the instructions on this site.:)
I haven't checked everything yet but it all looks good so far. Publish services work without the need to re-login (LR/Instagram is my most used one).

Now 'm going to see how the hardware acceleration looks with newer kit. I just tried Enhance Details. I haven't noticed a huge difference in the image quality, but speed has improved from 45 seconds to 3 seconds !
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